10 New Year’s Resolutions for FranchiseesJan 04, 2024
Every new year comes with 365 opportunities to accomplish our dreams. 2024 presents a canvas upon which franchisees can paint their aspirations and redefine their strategies. That’s why starting the year with a list of what you want to achieve is a great way to set your business toward sustained growth and success.
- Whether you are an experienced franchisee or a newcomer, the following resolutions will help you map out your blueprint for the next 12 months.
You can also! Select two or three of them according to the reality and maturity of your business. Focusing consciously on the most doable goals will help you elevate your franchise business to the highest possible level and transform your dreams into tangible success.
My suggestion is not to pick all of them but to focus only on two or three, especially the ones that most excite or inspire you, to ensure you accomplish those throughout the year.
It won’t be easy but don’t worry, you won’t be alone in this endeavor. We’ll provide extra help so you make it to December!
Surprisingly, data shows that 23% of people quit their resolutions in the first week, and 43% by the end of January. Even more shocking: just 1% of people make it a full year! But that won’t happen to you, and you’ll learn why in this blog post.
Now, let’s start planning your 2024!
1. Improve your brand execution
I’m sure you invested a lot of money to acquire a proven brand you could grow and achieve success with, so why not make the most out of it? Focus this year on ensuring that you are executing that brand with a high level of excellence across your organization. That way, your sales are going to increase.
To accomplish this resolution you can:
- Do a brand audit with the help of your franchisor or business consultant who supports you. This will help you identify opportunities and the areas you can influence to do better.
- Have your leaders do self-audits once a week, a month, or a quarter, to find red flags or hidden issues that are preventing the unit’s success.
- Compare your franchises to the rest of the franchise network in your area, your region, or even the whole country. That will give you a clear view of where your units stand at the beginning of 2024.
- Get ideas and best practices from your fellow franchisees so you can get better.
Think about all the things you, your team, and your leaders can implement to improve that brand. But keep in mind that this is a goal for the whole year, so don't expect to get it all done in the first week.
Key metrics: Better your brand audit score. Increase sales
2. Improve my employer's brand
Remember: you are in the business of people no matter what you're doing, because you have to do it through people. So, having a positive and attractive employer brand will help you attract and keep great employees in your organization, which will impact your business success.
Your employer brand starts with what your people believe, think, and feel about you as an employer. It also has to do with the perception the community has about your company as a workplace.
The employer brand also builds upon what people say on social media. Also, remember that before joining a new company, candidates do online research on their potential employer.
Do some research to see what people are saying about their experience working for you, whether they are current or ex-employees, to have a thermometer of how’s your online workplace reputation.
Something else you can do is conduct an employee survey to have them score you as an employer. That will give you a very clear metric of where you are as well as clues and ideas of what you need to improve.
Use their feedback to implement changes that cause a positive change in your employer brand. And, at the end of the year, do another survey with your employees to see how your score improved.
Key metrics: Better employee survey scores. Better public reviews
3. Lower my turnover
I always tell my clients that turnover is the biggest hidden expense in your business because it impacts every part of your business: your sales, your costs, your customer service, the speed of service, and your culture.
Shockingly, most of the time franchisees don't even know what turnover is. So the first thing you must do to achieve this resolution is to measure what your overall turnover was last year so that you can set a goal of where you want to be by December.
To discover your turnover you can:
- Conduct the employee survey mentioned before.
- Do exit interviews to find out why people are leaving your organization.
- Have retention interviews with your organization’s superstars you do not want to lose, to ask them what is keeping them there and what you can do better.
If you do these actions and implement what you're learning, you will reduce your turnover. You'll be surprised by the amazing impact this will have on your business.
Key metric: Lower turnover every month
4. Develop leaders for the future
Whether you are a growing multi-unit franchisee or a single-unit franchisee who wants to grow into a multi-unit organization, you require a strong leadership bench, with the right leaders to help you oversee the business operation.
Most of the time you'll be better off developing those leaders from within because when you promote people, you will know in advance the kind of employee they are as well as their work ethics and culture.
Identifying those diamonds in the raw among your staff will help you develop, little by little, their leadership skills and have them ready to grow when you are ready to grow.
Some considerations you must remember when searching for the future leaders of your organization:
- They have to be aligned with your vision and business culture.
- You must be clear about what their job would be and what the new role implies.
- A training program is critical to give them the knowledge and the tools they need to grow into great leaders in your organization.
- Make sure that when they get promoted, they're ready.
It will take work, so clearly, selecting this as a possible New Year’s resolution would probably take you most of the year to develop. But it’s worth it and the potential for scaling and growing your organization is tremendous.
Key metrics: Have your leadership ranks fulfilled. Have leaders who are ready to grow
5. Better control my spending
A lot of franchisees don't spend enough time looking at their financials for those fixed costs that could potentially be renegotiated, improved, or simply managed in a better way to reduce costs in your business.
I know that some things cannot be changed, such as royalties, marketing fees, or rent, but most other fixed costs can potentially be renegotiated or readjusted to control spending. For instance, services like carpet cleaning, music support, or maintenance.
Another way to lower expenses is reviewing and analyzing every line item of your profit and loss statement, especially those things that seem to be fixed because they don't vary with sales but still may change from month to month.
- Keep an eye on those because they may be the reason why you are not achieving your financial goals.
Key metric: Lower your fixed expenses
6. Increase profits
Another financial resolution you might want to pursue is to increase your profits. The starting point of this is having healthy sales and waste control.
To accomplish both of these goals you require clear smart goals. Every key performance indicator in your business should have a smart goal: one for sales, another for labor, another for cost of goods, as well as for utilities.
If you have that, you’ll be able to monitor those KPIs, those expenses, and those numbers every single week, to ensure you can act immediately and change the result in case something is off, so you can achieve your objectives.
Of course, this is a long-term resolution because you want to achieve your profitability from January and all the way to December.
Key metric: Achieving new profit goals
7. Advancing my goal of time and financial freedom
One of the things that I always say in franchising is that when you invest in one unit, you're really acquiring a job that might give you financial freedom somewhat, but doesn't give you time freedom. If you have one or two units, the business might replace a corporate salary.
- But if you want to have true time and financial freedom, you have to grow into a multi-unit organization.
Once you are a multi-unit franchisee, you be able to have more spare time because you’ll delegate operations to the leaders in your organization.
But to do so, you have to spend more time, money, and resources developing and training your managers and leaders, as well as defining and documenting your systems, procedures, and processes so that your people can operate the business as you want them to.
Financial freedom, on the other hand, is achievable when you open more units. Let’s say you have one unit that gives you $50,000 a year in profitability. That will double if you have a second unit. If you open a third store, you’ll triple your income to $150,000 and so on until, eventually, you become financially secure.
At some point, you can even hire a district manager. That's when you get true time freedom. But to be able to do that, you need to grow. It will take time, so this is a very robust resolution. It is possible, but it does take certain important steps to get there.
Key metrics: Fewer fires. More free time. More vacations
8. Start my exit/succession plan
A lot of times franchisees operate the day-to-day business without thinking about what their exit plan is. Maybe they feel like they’re going to do this hard work forever, but that's not the goal.
- Yes, you’ll do some hard work, but the end goal is that you can enjoy the fruits of that effort.
Now, I'm not saying that your New Year's resolution should be to exit. What I mean is that one of your goals for 2024 could be to define what you want to do when the business is over, and create a plan so that you know where you're going to be when you decide to exit the business.
This resolution revolves around creating that plan, whether it is to sell the business or to have a succession plan within your family. Having that clarity will allow you to make better decisions in the present, and excite and inspire you about where you are going in the organization.
Developing this plan takes time. Think through what you want so that you can start taking the steps to prepare for what’s next.
Key metric: Have a clear exit and succession plan
9. Plan my business growth in 2024
If you are a growing franchisee you must have clarity of how many units you want to open this year, where you want them to be, and how you are going to make this goal a reality. Otherwise, the possibility of your company growing this year is very low.
These are some tips to help you:
- Think through what is your business growth plan for 2024 and define it as clearly as possible.
- Be proactive! Let your brand know that you want to grow and reach out to fellow neighboring franchisees, especially the ones that are aging out and might want to retire.
- I will tell you that many mature and legacy brands have lots of opportunities, especially around acquisition because a lot of franchisees who started their businesses 50 or 60 years ago, want to exit the business and are willing to sell.
- You can also look for startups or emerging brands that want to grow. It might be ground-up growth, but still, they represent great opportunities for you to grow.
Key metric: Meet your growth goals
10. Be a better leader and franchisee
Anybody can learn how to open a unit, how to do inventory, labor schedules, or the local store marketing. But becoming a leader and driving a strong culture is something that not many people can do.
At the end of the day, the business that you own and lead depends on you. People see you as a role model and they expect you to give them direction, guidance, and inspiration. So the more inspiring, directive, exciting, and prepared leader you are, the better the team is going to follow in your organization.
They will not only follow you. You’ll earn their extra effort because of who you are as their ultimate leader who is leading the organization into the future. And this makes a huge difference.
This resolution is more introspective because you have to really consider if you want to be a great leader. And then, be humble, courageous, and willing enough to hear from others how good are you and what are your opportunities.
If you only want to choose one New Year’s resolution, I encourage you to consider this one because, if you become a better leader, you are going to not only inspire your team but also make the right decisions for your people and your organization.
Key metrics: Books you read. Development programs you join. Leadership evaluations by your team
How to accomplish your New Year's resolutions
According to an Ohio State University article, there are four reasons why people seem to fail at New Year's resolutions:
- Goals are not set at a time of change or need for change
- There’s no planning to avoid obstacles
- The goals are unrealistic
- There's no accountability or support
This is where the American Franchise Academy comes in. Our purpose is to protect the American dream of business ownership through franchising, and we love it when franchisees accomplish their goals.
We want you to achieve these New Year's resolutions and we are here to help you!
All of our programs are designed to help franchisees achieve the ultimate goal of time and financial freedom through franchising.
Explore how we can help and accompany you along the way so you accomplish not only these New Year's resolutions but whatever goals you have for your business. We offer three programs:
- Command Program, for multi-unit franchisees and franchisees that are growing.
- Multi-unit Leadership Certification Program, for district managers who are overseeing multiple units in a district.
- Manage Program, where we teach unit managers how to be great leaders, produce profits, and increase sales year over year.
- What do you want to accomplish this year?
- What is the most critical area that requires a positive change in your organization?
- Have you clearly defined your business growth plan for 2024?
- Can you think of other resolutions that may transform your business?